South Lee School officially opens its new sports hall

South Lee School has officially opened its new sports hall at the Victory Ground on Nowton Road in Bury St Edmunds. ANL-150325-144909001
South Lee School has officially opened its new sports hall at the Victory Ground on Nowton Road in Bury St Edmunds. ANL-150325-144909001

South Lee School, in Bury St Edmunds, has officially opened its new state-of-the-art sports hall.

Clare, Countess of Euston, was invited to unveil a commemorative plaque to mark the completion of the £2.1 million project on Wednesday.

Mark Westley Photography' Opening of South Lee School Sports Hall by Clare, Countess of Euston, The Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk ANL-150325-195644009

Mark Westley Photography' Opening of South Lee School Sports Hall by Clare, Countess of Euston, The Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk ANL-150325-195644009

The innovative scheme was developed in partnership between St Edmundsbury Borough Council, the Victory Ground, South Lee School, Bury Cricket Club and Sporting 87 Football Club.

A Community Interest Company (CIC) was set up so that the land could be bought from the borough council.

The CIC then gave a 999 year lease to South Lee School for the land and a similar lease to the cricket club.

David Barker, vice-chairman of governors and one of the driving forces behind the project, said the sports hall was an asset for the whole community.

Mark Westley Photography' Opening of South Lee School Sports Hall by Clare, Countess of Euston, The Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk ANL-150325-195450009

Mark Westley Photography' Opening of South Lee School Sports Hall by Clare, Countess of Euston, The Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk ANL-150325-195450009

“This facility is fantastic”, he said. “It has really transformed the school from the point of view of sport.

“But it is not only the school, it’s the whole local community that will benefit from it. We just hope it will help improve sport across the county.”

At the ceremony, David thanked the many sponsors, companies, councillors and volunteers who worked tirelessly to make the sports hall a reality.

Headteacher Derek Whipp, who leaves the school after Easter following 22 years, said: “The children absolutely love it – it’s fantastic. We had decided that if we were going to do it, we were going to do it right.”